Google is adding a built-in dashcam feature to Android phones

It looks like Google is working on a native dashcam recording feature for some Android phones that can run in the background for up to 24 hours, which is pretty cool. 9to5Google I took screenshots An update to the Personal Security app for Android phones with an option that appears to be part of an internal test accidentally uploaded to Google Play.

The app uses compressed videos to save space, and lets you turn off your screen or switch to another app — like Waze or Google Maps — while recording continues in the background. You can also set triggers, such as connecting to a specific Bluetooth device, to automatically start recording when you start your car. You can configure it to not record audio.

Recordings are automatically deleted after three days (you can save specific videos to prevent this), and recording stops automatically after 24 hours.

Dashcam apps are not new, they are abundant in both the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store, and many of them can run in the background as well. But if you’ve ever tried to use your smartphone as a dashcam, you already know the limitations.

Hours of HD video recording quickly drains storage (although dedicated Droid Dashcam dashcam apps allow you to configure the recording resolution), and your phone, which already runs hot if you leave the camera open for long periods of time, gets very hot when you sit out in the sun recording a video. Or using a GPS app with the sun rising through your glasses.

Another issue is whether or not the app is looking at things like optical image stabilization, which can be corrupted by minor vibrations on some devices. Like those on motorbikes (something I experienced years ago when using an old HTC phone as my handlebar-mounted action cam). But free is hard to beat, and if Google has it built in, you won’t have to worry about ad-supported apps hell to find a good one.

We don’t know how Google plans to mitigate the thermal issues, or how it deals with the problem of damaging a camera that uses optical image stabilization. Apple is warning customers – you might choose a lens without this feature. We don’t know which phones will support the app, but it will work on any Android phone running the Personal Security app, not just Pixels.